Arsenal will visit St. James’ Park to play Newcastle United in their first Premier League game of the season.
Unai Emery will take charge of his second season at Arsenal after a lengthy tenure of Arsene Wenger. Emery’s first campaign did not exceed expectations by any margin. Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League last season, which means that they will miss out on Champions League football this time. They had another way to get into the competition when they played the Europa League final. Chelsea beat them 4-1 which means that Arsenal will play in the second tier of the continental tournament yet again.Embed from Getty Images
Lack of Champions League football has further tightened the purse available at Emery’s disposal. Arsenal have only made only one signing this window so far which is winger Gabriel Martinelli. The only high-profile player they have been linked with is Wilfried Zaha. Emery covets the Crystal Palace winger, but the Eagles are asking for a very high fee. It remains to be seen if the deal will go through.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang won the Premier League Golden Boot award last season, and he has Alexandre Lacazette for a capable strike partner. The two of them will be the key players for Arsenal yet again. Their main problem is in defense which let them down in a big way last season. Emery will hope to recruit a capable center-back before the transfer window closes.
As for Newcastle United, they are facing a tough season ahead of them. Rafael Benitez resigned from his position as head coach as the club owner did not share his ambitions. Steve Bruce has replaced him. Aside from the managerial change, the Magpies have had to deal with player departures as well. Ayoze Perez was a key player for them in attack last season, but he has left to join Leicester City.
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Salomon Rondon, who was on loan from West Bromwich Albion partnered Perez in attack . He has not returned to Newcastle, and the Venezuelan will be sorely missed. The Magpies have made no addition to the squad so far, and Bruce faces a daunting task in his first season at the club. The fans are clearly angry that Benitez was let go, and they will want Bruce to emulate his predecessor’s success.Embed from Getty Images
In the last 13 meetings between these two sides, Newcastle have avoided defeat in just one. That game came back in 2018 when they won 2-1. Aside from that day, Arsenal have thoroughly dominated the Magpies. The Gunners claimed victory in each of the two encounters last season. The most recent game was a 2-0 victory for Arsenal.
Newcastle United vs Arsenal Prediction
Despite having home advantage, Newcastle will be the underdogs for this one. Arsenal should get the win to open their Premier League campaign with a win. The total goals should be more than 2.5 in this game. Bruce will look for a debut win, but Arsenal will deny that in his first home game.